J Breath Res. 2020 Oct 16. doi: 10.1088/1752-7163/abc235. Online ahead of print.
Pneumonia is a significant risk for critically ill, mechanically ventilated (CIMV) patients. Diagnosis of pneumonia generally requires a combination of clinician-guided diagnoses and clinical scoring systems. Exhaled breath condensate (EBC) can be safely collected non-invasively from CIMV patients. Hundreds of biomarkers in EBC are associated with acute disease states, including pneumonia. We evaluated cytokines in EBC from CIMV patients and hypothesized that these biomarkers would correlate with disease severity in pneumonia, sepsis, and death. EBC IL-2 levels were associated with chest radiograph severity scores (odds ratio = 1.68; 95% confidence interval = 1.09 - 2.60; P = 0.02). EBC TNF-α levels were also associated with pneumonia (odds ratio = 3.20; 95% confidence interval = 1.19 - 8.65; P = 0.02). The techniques and results from this study may be useful for all mechanically ventilated patients.